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Trying not to die off. Must maintain species.

Discussion in 'Other Stuff' started by QUALTHWAR, Oct 31, 2020.

  1. QUALTHWAR

    QUALTHWAR Baitshop opening soon.

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    I have some shitty news: I was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver 2 months ago. It’s from alcohol. It’s bad enough where I need a liver transplant. Some of my symptoms include: abdominal fluid buildup, Avascular Necrosis, Hepatic Encephalopathy, and muscle atrophy.

    ++++++++++++++

    The fluid buildup is from the interaction between the liver and the kidneys. My kidneys are fine, but they don’t remove enough salt now. I’m on a low-sodium diet limited to 2,000 mgs per day.

    I’ve had 3 procedures done so far to remove the excess fluid around the abdomen (not in the stomach itself). The procedure is called Paracentesis. Check this shit out. They stick a fairly long needle in your side with a tube coming off it with a second needle on the other end of the tube. They use these 1-liter glass bottles that have been put under a vacuum and sealed with a rubber membrane at the top. So, with the needle in your gut and the other end of the tube attached to the second needle they stick the second needle into the membrane on top of the glass bottle. This is weird to watch because the fluid blasts into the bottle and fills it up and they swap that out with another vacuum bottle when the first is full and continue doing this until they get most every bit of fluid. Your abdomen gradually reduces in size over a period of maybe 20 minutes or so; maybe 30.

    So how much fluid? All 3 times I’ve had this procedure done they’ve removed about 10 liters of fluid. Think about that. Imagine having the equivalent of five 2-liter bottles of fluid built up in your abdominal lining so your stomach sticks out like your pregnant, your sides bulge out, and your naval starts turning from an innie to an outie. The fluid is denser than water, 10 liters weighs about 25 lbs. I go in, get drained, stomach goes down, 25 lbs go away.

    ++++++++++++++++++

    Avascular necrosis in not really from the cirrhosis, but it’s from drinking alcohol. It affects mostly your long bones like your femur where the ball on the end of your femur starts to deteriorate (hip joint ball and socket). Blood supply to your ball joint gets jacked and the bone starts to die. The body does constantly repair/produce more bone, but the rate of degradation outpaces the new bone generation. The result is the ball flattens out and causes lots of pain. I’ve been living with this for 26 months now. I’m having total hip replacement (right side) on Nov. 9.

    +++++++++++++++++++

    Hepatic Encephalopathy is just my guess and hasn’t been diagnosed yet. I’m having trouble with my short-term memory; something that can happen with liver disease. I guess there are toxins that build up in your system, like ammonia, that your liver no longer takes care of. This leads to short-term memory loss. I’ll forget words, names of people such as TV stars, etc. If I’m in the middle of a sentence and there is any distraction, even me thinking I need to mention this or that after I finish this sentence, I’ll usually forgot what I’m in the middle of talking about. I’ll maybe be sitting there thinking that I need to get up and do something, or several things. By the time I get up, I’ve forgotten what those things were. My long-term memory is fine, except (sometimes) forgetting words and people’s names.

    ++++++++++++++++

    The muscle atrophy is also strange. The cirrhosis does something like mess with protein exchange between muscles and reserves. This exchange gets compromised and your skeletal muscles take a hit. I used to exercise a lot and was pretty strong, now my arms and legs look like they belong to some 12-year-old girl scout. One reason why muscles cramp is because of overwork. I was screwing some legs onto a TV and the screws went in a little hard because of Loctite on the threads. That night, I had muscle cramps in my hands and fingers. I mainly get cramps in my legs and feet. I apply foam stuff from a can on the cramps and they get better, but sometimes, like the other night, I was screaming like I was giving birth. It felt about like I had a broken ankle, and someone was trying to twist it inward to pigeon toe me. Just typing this is giving me hand and wrist cramps. Sucks ass.


    How did I get here? I guess every time you drink alcohol, your liver gets scarred to some degree. Over years of drinking the scars accumulate. Your liver does repair itself to some degree, to a certain point. In the late 80’s and early 90’s, I could drink maybe 3 sixpacks of beer a day. Until recently, I stopped drinking 2 months ago, I would only drink maybe 3 or 4 beers a day. Maybe a little more, but I’d have a lot of beer wasted in open bottles that I threw out.

    While sitting in the hospital wondering how I could get away with drinking 3 sixpacks a day years ago and now a few beers messes with me, something came to mind: the alcohol by volume for my beer was 9.5%. So, if a Bud is 5% alcohol, drinking one of my beers is like drinking almost 2 Buds. I’m not sure if this mattered because my doctor never asked me about the alcohol content. Either it didn’t matter, or he didn’t think to ask the right questions. If I drank 4 beers, its like drinking 8 Buds. 5 beers equate to 10 beers, etc.

    Anyway, just thought I’d give people a heads-up so they don’t end up like me. Before I had the abdominal fluid drained today, I weighed 196.6 lbs. Afterwards, I weighed 171.4. 25.2 lbs gone in a 20-30 minutes. Now that’s some kick-ass fat camp!
     
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  2. .altan

    .altan Tomorrow

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    holy shit qualthwar that's terrible. thank you for sharing your story. i hope you recover fully in every sense.
     
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  3. oosyxxx

    oosyxxx teh3vilspa7ula

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    This is terrible news, but I appreciate your making the effort to share your story.

    If you don't mind my asking, what kinds of beer were you drinking that were 9.5%? It sounds like you could really hold your liquor.

    At this point, do you regret drinking, or would you not change a thing if you could go back to the '80s? I realize that alcohol is generally bad for physical health, but it can be great for mental health, so there is some give and take, and I don't know if I would opt to never drink if I could go back in time.

    How about your heart? Have you done any tests on it? If I drink some beers at night and eat a heavy meal, I feel some pressure on my heart when I wake up in the morning, which worries me.

    A friend once told me that his uncle died from cirrhosis of the liver. My friend said it was a bad way to go and made a somewhat excruciating face when he described his uncle's deterioration. My friend was also an alcoholic who had quit for many years but then eventually relapsed and quickly went from skinny to bloated and barely able to walk.

    Anyway. If you're able, I hope you keep us updated by posting here. You're a true Nali City OG as well as a lifer. And a totally cool dude.
     
  4. QUALTHWAR

    QUALTHWAR Baitshop opening soon.

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    Thanks for the support.

    I was drinking a beer made by Victory. It’s called Golden Monkey. I liked it because it was a full-body beer that didn’t taste watered down. The issue I had with other similar beer was the bitter aftertaste. This beer didn’t have it; at least not for me. It was smooth.

    However, that beer was stupid expensive. Most places sold a sixpack for $12.99 (13 bucks). Add tax and you’re up to around 14 bucks a sixpack. I found a place that sold it for $11.99. But still, a case was almost 55 bucks. I bought 3 cases before I went to the hospital, found out I needed to stop drinking and then I was stuck with about $165 worth of beer. I gave 2 cases to relatives and I have one more earmarked for a friend when I see him.

    The whole drinking thing was complicated. I mostly drank because of pain. I have a birth defect in my lower back. I ended up becoming a master mechanic for 20 years. An A.S.E. Certified Master Automobile Technician. That’s where you have every automobile certification that you can achieve. I leaned over a lot, picked up heavy stuff, contorted my body, and basically beat the shit out of an already jacked up body.

    My lower back would whack out on me sometimes, and there were times when it got extremely bad. Once, I was bending over at the waist working on a headlight, back and forth between sitting in the car and bending over at the waist with no support. After about 20 minutes of this, I could barely walk. I went home, laid flat on the floor and couldn’t get up to go to bed for 4 days. I was out of work for 2 weeks. That’s as bad as I’d ever seen it. I was pissing in my pants trying to crawl into the bathroom to try to drag myself onto the toilet to go. I was living like an animal.

    I learned that what really hurt my back was bending over with no support. I got used to leaning on the fender of a car with one hand while working on it with the other. What sometimes happened was my right hip would hike way up in the air. When that happened, it made me walk funny which made my legs hurt, sides hurt; all kinds of pain from various body parts. Once, I went to work and my boss and a coworker saw me arrive at work and walk into the shop and my boss sent me home. He said I was walking crocked and that I was white as a ghost.

    I toughed it out for years and the beer helped, but I had to drink a lot to numb the pain enough and get to sleep. I finally said I can’t keep this up and went to a government agency called Vocational Rehabilitation. They helped me get my first degree so I could change careers. They said they could either help me go to college or pay for a back operation. I didn’t trust the operation, and I wanted to use my brain for other things, so school was a no-brainer for me. So, yeah, the drinking was bad, but the pain was unbelievable.

    My heart is fine. My EKG shows no issues whatsoever. I even asked a physician’s assistant recently about heart issues with cirrhosis patients. My concern was the muscle atrophy, but that only affects the skeletal muscles. She said she’d never seen a cirrhosis patient with heart issues.

    I don’t know what is in store for me. A doctor told me that after I stop drinking that the part of my liver that still works will improve. However, I also wonder if running at a reduced normal level will eventually catch up with me. At least I’m not jaundice. I haven’t had a drink in over 2 months, and I’m fine with that. My doctor said after 6 months without a drink that they could introduce me to the folks at a hospital that could put me on a list for a liver transplant. I guess if I get a transplant then I spend the rest of my life on anti-rejection medication. But that might be better than the symptoms I deal with now.

    I’m very lucky that I have a great wife. She helps support me, takes care of me, and honestly loves me without reservation. I hope to make it through this rough spot so I can spend many more years with her.
     
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  5. oosyxxx

    oosyxxx teh3vilspa7ula

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    I've had Golden Monkey. It's a tripel. I prefer the dubbel, if we're being frank, and we're, AFAIK.

    The auto tech job must have been bad for the body. Not even just musculoskeletally. But the air. The fumes. With all the heightened scrutiny on air and breathing, I bet a lot of auto techs are realizing their work environs will reduce their lifespans.

    And yeah, if you have to bend one way, and therefore compensate, some other body part will compensate in a way that causes imbalance and eventual pain. I've noticed that with my knees: if I squat with proper form, preserving my lumber, my knees wear quicker. Eventually, I can't even squat because the knees've worn all the way out.

    I'm glad you're not craving and will be able to make it the 6 mos. to get on the list for a liver transplant. I so much appreciate all of this insight into your history and current circumstances. You've been like a teacher for so many people here. I hope you can keep us updated with just what's on your mind.

    By the way ....

    Were some of your threads drunk-created threads? They seemed like it. But there was always that wit to it. Steering us into the unexpected.

    Not that I haven't been guilty of the same. So many drunk threads. So many Larrys. RIP 2002.
     
  6. QUALTHWAR

    QUALTHWAR Baitshop opening soon.

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    I’m not sure about the drunk posts thing. I became a nali city member in 2000 and that was the year I graduated with my physics degree. At the same time, I wasn’t doing mechanic work which helped my back a lot. I was being careful with stuff like drinking at that time because I was looking for work as a professional. I’m kind of zany anyway, so I really didn’t need to be drunk to post something ridiculous.
     
  7. Manticore

    Manticore Official BUF Angel of Death (also Birthdays)

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    Terrible news indeed. Take care.....
     
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  8. oosyxxx

    oosyxxx teh3vilspa7ula

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    Good to hear from you, Qualthwar. How are you feeling?
     
  9. oosyxxx

    oosyxxx teh3vilspa7ula

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    A 2021 update from me: I'm uninsured, severely underemployed, and I now have COVID, having tested positive almost a week ago.

    I have no sense of smell or taste, and I am mentally foggy, have a sore throat, and am generally lethargic. Anxiety was major when I first learned I had COVID.

    Cheers! :Poop:
     
  10. Manticore

    Manticore Official BUF Angel of Death (also Birthdays)

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    Be well soon.
     
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  11. AMmayhem

    AMmayhem Mayhem is everywhere

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    Damn, sorry to hear about both of you Qualth and oosyxxx. Best of luck to you two and I hope there's full recoveries all around!

    Not much news from me. Still healthy, just hating my HVAC job, but also sucks being 36 and still not knowing what you want to do with your life.
     
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  12. QUALTHWAR

    QUALTHWAR Baitshop opening soon.

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    I'm ok. Getting ready to have a procedure in just over a week, on the 18th. It’s called a T.I.P.S. procedure. They put a shunt between 2 veins in the liver that helps reduce pressure in some of the veins in the body. For example, your esophagus has veins that swell (not in the liver) and are more prone to bursting with the extra pressure in the liver. When that happens, it can kill you. I’ve read where that is high on the list of how people with cirrhosis die; veins bursting. They can’t control the bleeding fast enough to save you. The pressure is from a vein in the liver that has, for the most part, become blocked from all the scar tissue. But the bypass has risks.


    Another thing the procedure helps with is the constant fluid buildup in the peritoneal cavity in the abdomen. The other day they drained 14 liters, so basically 7 2-liter bottles worth of fluid from this cavity. I lost about 30 lbs in maybe 30 minutes. My record is just over 20 liters. The procedure is supposed to stop the fluid buildup or reduce it greatly. It also helps correct a sodium imbalance in my body. I think the imbalance is causing me to have severe muscle cramps quite a bit.
     
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  13. QUALTHWAR

    QUALTHWAR Baitshop opening soon.

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    oosyxxx, you still alive?! Stupid virus has a way of taking people out you’d think would survive.


    I saw where the lungs of covid patients, even the people who never really got very sick, look worse than people who are heavy smokers. Then those healthy people have other complications that are recently being reported on.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2021
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  14. QUALTHWAR

    QUALTHWAR Baitshop opening soon.

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    AMmayhem, you’re about my age when I went back to school. I would have been alright if I said the hell with 3 of my degrees and stuck with getting a software engineering degree. You can make good bank programming. Sit in a comfortable chair, move around if you want. Goof with people and see what goodies somebody brought into the break room that day. If you get good bosses, the pressure is low. You sure won’t be sweating your ass off doing HVAC stuff. You probably won’t cut any fingers off sticking them in a compressor fan either.


    But I had the same issue you speak of. What do I want to do? That’s why I was all over the place with the different degrees. BTW, most places want people with at least a bachelors degree if you end up doing IT stuff like engineering, including network engineering, software engineering, and systems engineering. But try to find something you think would go along with things you like to do, if you decide to go to school. I like solving puzzles and being creative, so programing gives me all that.
     
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  15. Manticore

    Manticore Official BUF Angel of Death (also Birthdays)

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    I hope he is. Stay safe.
     
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  16. oosyxxx

    oosyxxx teh3vilspa7ula

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    Why do you hate the HVAC job?
     
  17. oosyxxx

    oosyxxx teh3vilspa7ula

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    Have you tried any supplements for the muscle cramps? Like potassium?
     
  18. oosyxxx

    oosyxxx teh3vilspa7ula

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    I tested negative almost a month ago. Still, untl recently, I had daily fatigue, headaches, and a loose memory. Very laissez faire. My smell and taste have not fully returned. I haven't even been able to smell poop or farts--deleterious for mental health.

    Has anyone heard from Balton? I emailed him months ago but got no reply. He hasn't posted around here. I hope he's okay.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2021
  19. AMmayhem

    AMmayhem Mayhem is everywhere

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    Tired of the driving and the risky stuff I have to do. Also I'm pretty much paid by the job, so the only way to make more money is to get faster to do more jobs, and you know, destroy your body, sacrifice quality, safety, and home life. It seems to be the prevailing attitude in "skilled" trades that workers should be happy to just eat, sleep, and work. And they wonder why younger generations don't want to get into the trades.
     
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  20. QUALTHWAR

    QUALTHWAR Baitshop opening soon.

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    I finally did find something for the cramps that helps a lot. A nurse suggested it when I was in the hospital getting my procedure. it's called Flexeril. I almost never get cramps now, and when I do they go away quickly. but I've learned when to take them, like right before I go to bed and the cramping never happens. That helps me sleep since i'm not getting up because of the cramps.
     
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